Monday, October 26, 2009

Are You Believer Enough To Be Persecuted?

I ask myself that question? Do I stand out enough from the world for the world to persecute me for who I am – a follower of Messiah Yeshua? If someone were to look at how I spend my days, how I live my life would they see me any different than everyone else around me?

I read a passage by someone who was into Satanism and the occult recently. They related that they all looked at Christians strangely because they keep the same pagan holidays, celebrate the pagan sun god day (Sunday), live their lives the same exact way the Satanists do with one exception, they’ve said a little prayer. Is that difference enough to change their eternal destination?

The Word of Yehoveh tells us that there will be a great deception put upon the congregation in the last days. Those last days, the days of the gentiles, have been the last 2000 years since Yeshua was crucified. That great deception is growing darker by the day. That deception is that the Torah is no longer valid for us, that since Yeshua died He took that so-called burden away from us and that to keep it makes us “legalistic”. That deception is that all someone has to do these days to get into heaven is “say a little prayer and believe in Jesus”.

Well congregation of believers that is false teaching. Yeshua Himself taught right in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:17, 18 “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah – not until everything that must happen has happened.” And in Romans 3:31 we read “Does it follow that we abolish Torah by this trusting? Heaven forbid! On the contrary, we confirm Torah.”

Torah is what shows the world how we are set-apart for Yehoveh. How we are different. How we are NOT like the world. That we keep the Sabbath Holy for Him, that we don’t celebrate pagan holidays and how we eat and drink differently. If we do everything the same way that unbelievers do then why in the world would Messiah have died for us? What are we doing that is so different?

Legalism is a word that came to the church early on when they wanted to distance themselves from the Jews. Keeping Torah is not legalistic. It wasn’t legalistic for the Israelites. What became legalistic were the hundreds of extra laws that the Pharisees added to the Torah. These were not set down by Yehoveh and they became a heavy burden to the people. Keeping the Torah is being obedient to our Creator who gave them to us as a gift to separate us from the rest of the world. When we throw them out then we throw out any chance of being different.

The pagan holidays all have their roots in Satanism. Satan is the father of them all. He is the master deceiver and the father of lies. He has convinced the world that evil is good and that good is evil and the church has gone right along with him.

In Joshua chapter 24 Joshua asks the people whom they will serve. The gods of the world or Almighty Yehoveh who brought them out of captivity and gave them their own land. We have that same choice put before us. Will we continue to serve the gods of this world or will we choose Yehoveh? As for me and my house, we will choose to serve Yehoveh. No matter what!

So to get back to my original question, am I enough of a follower of Messiah to invite persecution? That is a question every believer should ask themselves? If I keep the same holidays, go to church on the sun day, don’t keep Torah, don’t even know what a feast day is, etc. there is no reason for anyone to persecute me because I am the same as they are.

Here is a test. Tell someone that you have decided to keep Torah and to stop celebrating the pagan holiday of christmas (not capitalized on purpose) and see what the response is. If you find that they look at your strangely and tell you that you are crazy or worse then you’ll know that you are on the right path. It won’t be easy and that in itself is a sign that you are doing the right thing.

He is coming back soon. The signs are all around us. He will be looking for His set-apart people, His sheep. Are you different than the world? Different enough to be persecuted like He was?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why Do Believers Celebrate Pagan Holidays?

Our family used to say that Halloween was our favorite holiday. We worked for a month to decorate our yard with homemade tombstones and even a homemade coffin. We had spooky sounds, lights, skulls and blood everywhere. We won the neighborhood award for the best decorations. People would come from other neighborhoods to see our yard every night. We dressed up and gave out loads of candy.

Then something happened. We accepted Yeshua/Jesus as our Savior and over some time He convicted us that we should not have anything to do with Halloween any more.

Halloween, all hallows eve, ghosts, goblins, witches, werewolves, blood, skulls, skeletons, death, evil, fear and more. Just looking at these things in the light of Yeshua Messiah’s Holy Light, and comparing these things to Him, made us realize that there is nothing in this so called celebration that we should have anything to do with.

I have written several posts about how the Church in general has adopted so many pagan celebrations. I’ve heard it said by other believers that we’ve turned them into something good so they are OK now. Halloween is fun, the children dress up and get candy and it’s just a good time. Even churches have gotten in on it with fall celebrations and selling pumpkins to be made into jack-o-lanterns as a fundraiser. Some even say that with candy they give out tracts and so they are using it to witness to others.

We used to do the same – doing our own version of turning something evil into something Holy. Problem is only He can make something Holy – we can’t. We were not being a good witness by keeping the same holiday that unbelievers were keeping. We were doing exactly what the world was doing. Exactly what He tells us not to do. We are to be in the world but not of the world. If we are doing what everyone else does then how are we His set-apart people?

As I’ve said so many times before, this is exactly what the Israelites used to do before Messiah came. They used to take pagan Ba’al celebrations and put a godly spin on them and still worship Yehoveh through these celebrations. He did not accept that and when they didn’t stop He judged them and sent them into captivity. It is not that they stopped worshiping Him it is that they were using pagan celebrations to do so. It was unacceptable to Him.

We are doing the same thing when we take on pagan holidays and attempt to turn them into something fun and good and we call them all sorts of things to make us feel better about doing it.

Take a moment and Google the origin of Halloween. It dates back over 2000 years to the Celts bringing back ghosts and spirits of the dead. They would contact them to get predictions on what the next year would be like. November 1st was their new year and they believed that the night before the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead were blurred so that the Druids, the Celtic priests, could more easily be in contact with these sprirts.

The Word of Yehoveh tells us that to try and contact the dead is against His Word. Ghosts and spirits are Satan’s evil demons. He is constantly working to pull us his way and away from Yehoveh God. He does it through seemingly innocent ways. He doesn’t stand there and say, hey I’m Satan and I want you to come and follow me and leave God. He says, oh isn’t that a cute little princess costume. Let’s do Halloween and go trick or treating. One more step in his direction. A slippery slope.

To even try to mix what is Holy and Righteous with this evil and call it fun and harmless is just plain deceptive. Whatever name is put on it, however it is described, its roots are evil and that evil cannot be changed into good. There is no place in His Word where His people have been able to do that. Holy is Holy and evil is evil and they cannot mix.

In these end of days just before He returns to earth to claim His own it is critical that believers live their day to day lives in a Holy manner in all things. He was very clear that many who think they are His will be told “I don’t know you” when He comes back. When we constantly do what is right in our own sight instead of following what is in His Word then why would He choose us to be with Him for all eternity? He wants true followers, not just those who mouth the right words. As His Word says, we shall know them by their fruit.

He is coming back. He is coming back soon. We are in the end of the end of days. The world as it has been is crumbling apart. Are you ready? Are you living your life as if He is soon to be here? Are you showing others around you that you are just the same as they are or are you different? Are you different enough to be noticed? Perhaps different enough to be persecuted for how you are living your life? If you aren’t, then perhaps now is the time to make some changes. Repent of the pagan ways you have adopted into your life and ask Him to forgive you. Start living your life Holy for Him. It will mean a difference for all eternity.

Friday, October 2, 2009

How Much Time Do You Spend?

A few years ago I had the opportunity to spend some time in Australia attending the wedding of my son and daughter-in-law. I stayed at an amazing bed and breakfast just off of Bondi beach just outside of Sydney. There is an indescribable coastal walk that goes from Bondi beach to Maroubra beach. It is 7.4 miles one way hopping from one gorgeous beach to the next with wild and wonderful coastline in between. It takes about 4 hours to walk each way so there is plenty of time to enjoy Yehoveh’s amazing creation and do a lot of thinking as well.

One day as I was walking along I started thinking about Yehoveh’s Word – commonly called the Bible. I had read bits and pieces, even whole chapters but had never read it through entirely. Something spoke to me while I was staring out at His enormous ocean, waves crashing on the cliffs below me, that one day I would be standing in front of Him, the author of this incredible book and what would I say if He asked me, “Have you ever read my book through start to finish?” It hit me that I would be so ashamed at that moment. Everything that He did to give it to me and I didn’t care enough to even read it.

That moment I made the decision that no matter what I was going to start at the beginning and read it straight through. Every single word, name, number, no matter how confusing or boring it might be in places. As soon as I got back to my room that day I opened it up to Genesis 1:1 and started reading. No studying it, just reading, like I would any other novel or book. It took me 4 months and I finished up at Revelation 22:21.

WOW! The picture became very clear. I could see Yehoveh’s plan completely laid out from the very beginning. It all came together so perfectly. It strengthened my faith in ways I cannot even count. To read story after story of how He protected, saved and rescued person and nation time and after time when none of them deserved it was so inspiring.

I could see His plan for the nation of Israel and how He so perfectly opened the door to gentiles to become a part of it and how it was His plan all along. That from the first moment He prepared to send His Son, Yeshua Messiah, to complete the sacrificial system that He began at Mt. Sinai. WOW! That piece by piece He put the puzzle together, bringing mankind along the journey of knowing Him.

Since then reading the bible through has become a normal habit to me. I finish up with Revelation and start right again with Genesis. As many times as I have done it over the past few years there is always something that I read that jumps out at me as if I had never read it before. The picture becomes clearer every time.

For those of you who have never read the Word of Yehoveh through I encourage it. It will bring you so much peace and understanding. A while ago I came across a webpage about reading the bible through. It had an online booklet written by Phillip Green.

This is how I have broken down my time in His Word:

1. Spending time daily just reading through the bible.

2. Spending time daily doing a specific bible study – currently I am working through the Torah and Old Testament doing a free online study at

Now I can stand before Him and at least I can say yes I have read your book. And I cannot wait to spend time with Him discussing the things I have read.